IFSC World Cup Edinburgh Results
The Edinburgh International Climbing Arena round in the IFSC Climbing World Cup was a late edition to the calendar after changes to the program in China, and came at the same time as Queen Elizabeth II passed away—making for a unique finals weekend.
Yoshiyuki Ogata (JPN) qualified in last place for the Men’s Lead Final but set an impressive early high point of 31+, this was later down scored to 22 due to him stepping on an exposed bolt hanger (how is this still a thing?). Stefan Scherz (AUT) struggled through the start to a ‘T-Rex compression’ sequence, but moved freely through the mid-section. After landing a dynamic double hand dyno he fell unexpectedly at 30+. Toby Roberts (GBR) after a full extension on the dyno tried to recoup some lost energy, but was also caught out at the 30+.
Sascha Lehmann (SUI) and Masahiro Higuchi (JPN) both moved freely through the early section, but hesitation at the dyno cost them both, finishing up at 25+. Colin Duffy (USA) looked comfortable through the start and defeated the route setters best bluff—using a foothold that was not part of the beta to come unstuck on an undercling at 22.
Jesse Grupper (USA) was back in the finals after a win in Round Four at Briancon. Moving statically through the route, he passed through the 30+ high point with ease and headed into the unknown top section. Landing a blind dyno and pushing through he managed to clip the top just as the timer ran out. Only Luka Potocar (SLO) could stand in the way of Grupper getting his second gold of the season, but he had to be content with silver after falling trying to grab a left hand, finishing on 31+. After a tense wait while an appeal was heard for Potocar standing on a bolt, the placings stood with Grupper taking the gold medal, Potocar silver and Roberts, in his first World Cup event, bronze.
As the procession for the Queen Elizabeth II coffin moved from Balmoral to Edinburgh, inside the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena everyone was wondering whether there would be another queen of lead climbing as Ai Mori of Japan came from a win at Koper over Jarna Garnbret, or would the Slovenian fight back to the top of the table, or maybe even another contender would take the spoils? Chaehyun Seo of Korea certainly hoped so as she was lead athlete going into the finals after topping out faster than Mori and Garnbret (who was timed out at the top).
Starting the final round was Eliska Adamovska (CZE) after a slow, purposeful climb through the initial sequence, she struggled at the first dynamic cross and expended plenty of energy with a wide foot extension, falling at 19+. Ryu Nakagawa (JPN) and Jessica Pilz (AUT) both fell at a dyno sidepull on the 29th hold. Natalia Grossman (USA) and Natsuki Tainii (JPN) both looked in control and statically moved through the dyno section, but fell in a complex pinch sequence at 38+.
Garnbret was in much better form from the previous week at Koper, reaching the upper section with relative ease. Breaking beta and showing immense finger strength on crimps, she topped out with 20 seconds still on the clock, sending a clear message to Mori that she had to top to win. Not to be outdone, Mori moved solidly through to the top section and—realising time was ticking—managed to pick up her pace on the toughest sequences to top and push Garnbret down the board based on countback. Chaehyun Seo (KOR) was the last athlete out after qualifying in first place and knew time was going to be a factor. She powered through three quarters of the route before needing to rest and timing out at 42+. The final podium in the Women's Lead Final was Ai Mori gold, Garnbret silver and Seo bronze.